Alec joined Watsi on April 17th, 2013. Six years ago, Alec joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Alec's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Leakhen, a curious and playful student from Cambodia, for spinal surgery for her birth condition.
Alec has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Alec has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Leakhen is a bright and hardworking 12-year-old girl. She and her brother live with their parents, who are rainy day farmers, in Takeo province in Cambodia. Leakhen enjoys playing with her brother, reading books, and doing homework. When she grows up, Leakhen would like to be a teacher. Leakhen was born with congenital scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis is the presence of an abnormal curvature of the spine. The curvature causes the spinal column to bend left or right. Leakhen is not able to stand up straight or expand her lungs, which causes her frequent fatigue and chronic pain. Because of the stress that scoliosis places on the vital organs of adolescents and their ability to grow, active treatment is required. If not corrected, she could experience progressive weakness, numbness, or a loss of coordination. Leakhen is embarrassed to go places because of her condition. She has had two previous surgical procedures, and surgeons have determined that she needs a revision of her spinal rod to help her heal. Leakhen and her family traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On September 17th, she will undergo a revision of her spinal rod. During this procedure, surgeons will implant and expand a rod to allow her to continue to grow normally. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help her feel confident and be active like other children her age. Leakhen said, "I hope that my spine will look better and I can play with other children."
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."
Johnson is a charming and playful toddler and the only child of his young parents. They are small scale farmers of maize, vegetable, sunflowers, and beans. It is through their harvest that the family is able to get food and earn money for other basic commodities. The little boy was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Johnson's legs bow outward at the knee. He has difficulty walking and experiences pain after playing or running around for longer periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Johnson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Johnson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Johnson’s mother shares, "My child is having a hard time walking due to his legs being deformed. I would love for him to walk well like other children but the cost is too high for us to afford help us."
Pendaeli is a 10-year-old student and the youngest child in a family of seven children. All of his siblings are grown and have moved to other cities in search of jobs. Pendaeli is being raised by his widowed mother. She is a small-scale farmer growing maize and vegetables for their family's food and to sell for an income. She also seeks out a variety of other jobs, like doing laundry for neighbors. Pendaeli has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping him receive treatment. He traveled to AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 11th. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Now, Pendaeli's family needs $935 to fund the procedure. Pendaeli’s mother shared, "finding money to take my son for treatment has been a big challenge and the cost is too high for me to afford. Please help."
Sonoeun is a two-month-old baby boy and the first child born to his parents. His father is a construction worker and his mother works in a factory. Sonoeun has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Sonoeun traveled with his parents to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There, surgeons will perform an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure on May 17th. Now, CSC is requesting $385 to fund Sonoeun's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his feet will develop normally and he will be able to walk more easily as he gets older. Sonoeun's father shared, "I want to see my child run and play sports when he is older, but now I hope he heals from the surgery well."
Kay is a 34-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two sons in a village on the Thai-Burma border. Her husband is a day labourer at a construction site, while both of her children are students. Kay used to work in a factory but stopped last year when her health deteriorated. Kay remembers first feeling the pain she has in her abdomen in April of 2014, a month after she gave birth to her second son. Five years later, the pain in the left side of her abdomen returned. Kay also could not eat or drink anything, and vomited every time she tried to eat. At the hospital, she was given medication and was instructed to take it regularly. Though Kay felt better at a follow-up appointment, some of her symptoms were still persistent, so the medic referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At that hospital, Kay received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test, and the results revealed that she had stones in her left ureter. The doctor recommended that she undergo laser treatment to breakup these stones and treat the pain she has been experiencing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kay receive treatment. On March 2nd, she is scheduled to undergo a shockwave lithotripsy treatment at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and she and her family need help raising money. Kay shared, “I really want to recover. I cannot work at the factory [because of my condition] but I want to earn money. In the future, if I recover, I want to open a small shop to sell dry goods.”
Mugabirwe is a 45-year-old woman from Western Uganda. Both she and her husband are farmers. They have six children and their youngest is still in school. Mugabirwe also takes up casual labor projects in their community to make a living for their family. For the past five years, Mugabirwe has been experiencing pain in her lower abdomen that radiates to her back and fatigue that limits her from engaging in strenuous work for long. When she visited our medical partner's care center, she had a pelvic scan and was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst that needs to be removed. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $220 to fund Mugabirwe's procedure. On April 9th, she will undergo surgery at AMH's care center. Once treated, Mugabirwe will be free from pain and the chances of the cyst becoming malignant will be reduced. Mugabirwe shared, “I hope to get well after the treatment and have reduced pain to continue tending to the farm and raising my family."
Daudi is a happy 10-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children in his family. Daudi's mother sells vegetables as a street vendor in the village. She and her husband are separated. She is the sole provider of the family and Daudi requires a lot of attention. Daudi has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Daudi's feet are rigid and he cannot walk or stand, so he relies on his mother who often carries him. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Daudi receive treatment. Daudi and his mother traveled to AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Daudi's clubfoot repair. The surgery will be very impactful for him, because he will be able to walk and stand on his own. Daudi's mother shared, “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery so that he can be independent. God bless you!"
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Paul is a manual laborer from Kenya who works at a sawmill in Nyahururu. In his job, they are given duties depending on the workload so he does not have a stable income. On a good day, Paul takes home $2.50. He is a married father of one and lives in a 2 room house in Subukia, built on his father’s land. His father passed on in 2019, and his mother is elderly and depends on her children for survival. Paul was involved in an accident on the 20th of November 2020, where he works at a sawmill. He was rolled over by a wheel that caused his injury. He sustained a large lateral injury spanning from 1cm proximal to the malleolus to 15cm proximal with a large section of exposed tendon and fibular bone. He also has dislodgement of his lateral fibula. He is in chronic pain and is not able to walk on his own. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Paul receive treatment. On January 19th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal his wound. His hope is to be able to walk again and no longer be in pain. Now, Paul needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Paul shared with us, “Looking at the work I do, I don’t have the financial strength to pay for the surgery. I am scared and the wound looks bad. Kindly help."
Joan is a 15-year-old student from Kenya. She is the third born in a family of five children, and is very calm and tends to be quiet. Joan is a hard-working, optimistic girl who hopes to excel in school, and she is currently in Grade Seven. Her dream is to become a teacher in future. In the second week of December, Joan was involved in a road accident as a pillion passenger which almost cost her her life. Her vehicle came into a head-on collision with a car, and she lost consciousness for more than three hours. Ultimately, Joan suffered a severe femur fracture and skin lacerations. Because she could not lift her leg, she was put on traction to bring stability to her leg. She is in pain on her right leg and unable to walk. Now, she needs to undergo a fracture repair procedure to heal her injury and avoid risk of further complications. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Joan and her family. Her mother is a potato farmer, while her father is ill and currently unable to work in the farm. Joan's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family, and she has found it hard to educate her children due to the family's income. Joan and her family live in a mud-built house that is not in good condition and they are unable to repair it due to lack of money. The family has raised some money for the surgery thus far, but needs more financial support to raise the total cost. They appeal for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 17th, Joan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After she is fully recovered, Joan will be able to walk with ease and will be able to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Joan shared, "My prayer is to finish school, have a good job and support my mum and my siblings."
Joshua is a student from Uganda. He is a third born in a family of six children. He is currently in seventh grade, and he hopes to graduate and continue with school. Joshua’s parents are both subsistence farmers. Joshua was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or a condition known as "knock-knees." His legs bow inward, causing his knees to touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, it is difficult for Joshua to walk for long distances because he experiences pain as his knees continue knocking each other. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joshua. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 13th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joshua's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joshua says “My legs are limiting me so much from walking, working, and playing football. I appreciate any help you can provide me.”